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Block H - Animal Habitats

Animals are always fascinating to children and this topic details numerous creative and exciting learning activities inspired by this stimulus.

Where do the animals of the world like to live? Learn about the amazing range of habitats around the Earth and how animals are adapted to live there. This block will look at hot and cold habitats, dry and wet habitats, high and low habitats! Learn through stories, information sources and direct observation of your local area. Use expressive arts to capture your learning and to express your own ideas, creating your own original animal adapted for your favourite habitat.

The Topic Overview outlines the outcomes and objectives of the whole topic, with more specific detail, including resources lists, provided in the Block Overview.

This Topic is written for Reception. If you want to use this Topic for a different Key Stage, you will need to consider how to adapt the outcomes, content, delivery methods, resources and differentiation, as well as the relevant National Curriculum objectives.

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01: Who lives here?

Learn about the word habitat and explore amazing different habitats all over the word. Learn names for animal’s homes. Create a texture collage by picking and choosing resources and materials that fit with the habitat. Put the collage together to make a habitat display.

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02: Hot!

Learn all about hot animals and the different habitats they live in. Think about how they are adapted to their environment and how they stay safe. Draw and paint animals that live in hot climates to add to the collage habitat display. Sort and describe animals that live in hot habitats, go on a safari adventure and spot animals, dance to African music and make lions.

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03: Cold!

Learn about animals that live in cold climates and think about how hard this must be. Discuss ways that animals adapt to their habitat to help them. Write some of these animals down by segmenting. Watch a video clip about cold habitats and remember some information to share with the class. Paint a favourite cold climate animal to add to the texture collage. Create ‘cold’ dances to the soundtrack of Frozen, role-play with small-world animals and make their own polar bear.

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04: Wet!

Listen to water music and relax while thinking abut what animals might live in water. Watch a video clip on habitats and remember facts. Be aware of other wet habitats and what might live in them. Make an animal that lives in a wet habitat for the collage display and sort animals according to where they live. Play a sorting game on the computers, look through non-fiction books to find fascinating facts, and create underwater number sentences.

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05: High and low!

Learn about two habitats and that some animals like to make their homes high and others prefer to stay near the ground. Use reasoning to explain where they think an animal might live and why they think this. Paint a picture of animals that live high and low for the display collage, make animal homes from playdough, nests from real twigs and leaves, sort animals and play a habitat sorting game.

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06: Animal inventors

Putting all of their knowledge of animals, their habitats and how they adapt to their environments, children design and make their own animal to live in one of the habitats looked at.

Block G - Animal Tales

Animals are always fascinating to children and this topic details numerous creative and exciting learning activities inspired by this stimulus.

Explore a range of traditional animal tales, famous animal characters and animal rhymes and discover the lessons we can learn from their adventures and mishaps! Children consider how to be brave and helpful. They will understand that even though we look similar we actually look and behave differently. The children set their own targets and persevere to achieve them and appreciate the power of working together as a team. This block focusses primarily on the personal, communication and emotional development objectives about playing co-operatively, showing sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings and forming positive relationships using positive animal role models as the catalyst for discussion, writing and creative expression.

The Topic Overview outlines the outcomes and objectives of the whole topic, with more specific detail, including resources lists, provided in the Block Overview.

This Topic is written for Reception. If you want to use this Topic for a different Key Stage, you will need to consider how to adapt the outcomes, content, delivery methods, resources and differentiation, as well as the relevant National Curriculum objectives.

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01: Chicken Licken: being brave!

Children explore the story of Chicken Licken to identify and describe the emotion of courage. They share experiences where they have been brave and explain strategies they have used. 

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02: Elmer the Elephant: being different is OK!

Children explore how they are similar and different to each other. They recognise the physical and personality differences that make us all unique. Children positively celebrate their individuality!

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03: Herman the Helper: being helpful!

Children identify how they and others can be helpful, the feelings associated with giving and receiving help and the socially appropriate behaviour to acknowledge help.

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04: The tortoise and the hare: never give up!

Children understand that everyone finds things difficult, but that it is possible to achieve difficult goals when they persevere. Children appreciate the feelings of frustration and achievement.

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05: Traditional animal rhymes: performing to an audience!

Children learn a range of traditional nursery rhymes that include animal characters. They make adaptations to these to invent original versions. Children work collaboratively to add music and actions and perform each rhyme to an audience.

Block F - Baby Animals

Animals are always fascinating to children and this topic details numerous creative and exciting learning activities inspired by this stimulus.

This block about baby animals will stimulate learning about animal life cycles and growing up. Be inspired by stories and first-hand observations. Think about changes and discuss why they occur. Match baby animals to their adults and create dances about how animals learn by copying. There will be maths too, learning about comparing sizes and the language of measuring.

The Topic Overview outlines the outcomes and objectives of the whole topic, with more specific detail, including resources lists, provided in the Block Overview.

This Topic is written for Reception. If you want to use this Topic for a different Key Stage, you will need to consider how to adapt the outcomes, content, delivery methods, resources and differentiation, as well as the relevant National Curriculum objectives.

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01: Baby animal puzzle

Read Monkey Puzzle by Julia Donaldson and think about how animal babies are sometimes different from their parents. Make first hand observations of caterpillars growing and turning into butterflies. Re-unite and match baby animals to their grown-ups. Play an animal match memory game, order life cycles, go on a caterpillar hunt and create their own butterflies using ICT and symmetry painting.

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02: Dance of the hungry caterpillar

Read The Very Hungry Caterpillar book and talk about the life cycle of a butterfly. Listen to music and begin to create movements that fit with the music. Use different levels of dance to create their own life cycles. Children potato print their own hungry caterpillars, order the story and make caterpillars from playdough.

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03: Baby animal: measure and compare!

Children talk about the size of different animals and compare which ones are taller or shorter. They make estimates of how tall they think a baby animal is and compare this to themselves and their friends. They begin to use standard measures as well as non-standard. They order animals according to their size, find hidden animals in the sand tray and measure objects using their foot as a measurement.

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04: Animal names

Learn different names for baby animals, play a quick fire game to help remember some of these names. Collect counters when a correct name is matched to the baby animal. Make a baby animal book and match adult animals to their babies.

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05: Changes

Look at changes the children have gone through in their lives. Discuss the things that they can do now, that they couldn’t do when they were a baby. Observe changes in themselves and their friends. Look at how baby animals change as they get older and think about why they need to change. Explore the life cycle of a frog, order the stages of an animal’s life by looking at changes and use a writing frame to sound out noises that a baby animal might make.

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06: I wanna be like you!

Talk about how adults have helped us to learn new things. Discuss how we learn new skills and copy a simple rhythm. Use copying technique in dance to explore what baby animals need to learn from adults. Take it in turns to be the leader and then the follower in the dance. Make animals from playdough, copy patterns using the peg boards and use a writing frame to write about what a baby animal needs to learn.

Block E - Sacred and Mythical Animals

Animals are always fascinating to children and this topic details numerous creative and exciting learning activities inspired by this stimulus.

Discover fantastical fictional animals such as dragons, unicorns and the phoenix. Listen to their stories, look at art and listen to music inspired by them. Invent your own versions of these imaginary animals and represent your ideas through the creative arts. Investigate the creatures that have been held in special regard by people through the ages such as the cow and Bald Eagle. Explore why they are considered special animals, describing their appearance and character traits. Compose and perform class poetry and explore descriptive language.

The Topic Overview outlines the outcomes and objectives of the whole topic, with more specific detail, including resources lists, provided in the Block Overview.

This Topic is written for Reception. If you want to use this Topic for a different Key Stage, you will need to consider how to adapt the outcomes, content, delivery methods, resources and differentiation, as well as the relevant National Curriculum objectives.

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01: The dragon!

Children learn that the dragon is a popular mythical creature from around the world. They explore popular dragon stories, describe the appearance and behaviour of dragons and create dragon puppets and models.

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02: The phoenix!

Children learn that a unicorn is a mythical creature. They will be able to describe its appearance and character, and use this to create their own representations of unicorns.

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03: The unicorn!

Children learn that a unicorn is a mythical creature. They will be able to describe its appearance and character, and use this to create their own representations of unicorns.

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04: The cow - an animal sacred to Hindus

Children learn that many Hindus consider the cow to be a special animal and are able to identify why. They identify how their behaviour can have a positive impact on others.

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05: The bald eagle - an animal sacred to Native Americans

Children learn that the Bald Eagle is a special animal to Native American people. They carefully describe its appearance and movements to compose a class poem, which they perform. Children select their favourite scared/mythical animal and give reasons for their opinion. 

Block D - Night Animals and Day Animals

Animals are always fascinating to children and this topic details numerous creative and exciting learning activities inspired by this stimulus.

Listen to tales about animals that like to come out in the day and the animals that like to come out at night. Think about concepts of night and day and time. A chance to focus on animals that live in the countryside and especially the ones that prefer to come out at night. Learn about British mammals such as foxes, badgers and bats and also snakes such as the adder and the grass snake. A lovely block with a special focus on music, movement and dance.

The Topic Overview outlines the outcomes and objectives of the whole topic, with more specific detail, including resources lists, provided in the Block Overview.

This Topic is written for Reception. If you want to use this Topic for a different Key Stage, you will need to consider how to adapt the outcomes, content, delivery methods, resources and differentiation, as well as the relevant National Curriculum objectives.

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01: Night and day

Children explore the concept of daytime and night-time. They share bedtime routines and know what to do when they wake up. They identify activities that happen during the day and at night.

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02: Fabulous flying animals

Children learn about diurnal and nocturnal flying animals and understand why they are active at different times of the day. They identify different British flying animals, explore their characteristics and sort them.

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03: Deep underground

Children understand that some animals burrow underground. They identify nocturnal British burrowing animals and describe their features through art and design.

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04: Careful creepers

Children know hedgehogs and cats are nocturnal. They explore the behaviour and physical characteristics of British nocturnal animals through dance and movement. They express their thoughts through art and design.

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05: Carnival of the nocturnal animals

Children take part in a musical extravaganza! They explore how to make repeating musical patterns from percussion instruments and perform collaboratively. They make a mask of their favourite British nocturnal animal and celebrate their learning.

Block C - Animal Protectors

Animals are always fascinating to children and this topic details numerous creative and exciting learning activities inspired by this stimulus.

How can we help to protect animals? Find out about the role of different charities including zoos in conserving rare breeds and animals. Explore the tasks of animal keepers and train to be an Animal Protector: learning about the right habitats, living conditions and appropriate food and water amounts for the animals. Great opportunities to explore some maths ideas about size, volume and patterns.

Think about the ways we can help our local animals to thrive by creating wildlife areas and gardens at school and home. Make observations and use drawing, painting and sculpture to share your ideas. Create wildlife homes for hedgehogs and frogs. Choose and plant flora that encourage wildlife.

The Topic Overview outlines the outcomes and objectives of the whole topic, with more specific detail, including resources lists, provided in the Block Overview.

This Topic is written for Reception. If you want to use this Topic for a different Key Stage, you will need to consider how to adapt the outcomes, content, delivery methods, resources and differentiation, as well as the relevant National Curriculum objectives.

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01: How do we protect?

Introduce endangered animals and think about the part humans play in this. Watch a video clip on habitats and endangered animals and find out ways to help. Small world animal sorting, matching fur to animal, painting, using instruments to be different animals.

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02: So you want to be an animal protector?

Begin training to become an animal protector by learning what we need to be happy and safe and comparing this to what an animal needs. Learn about what foods different animals need. Measure food by weighing, making grape snakes, sorting unhealthy and healthy food and ordering sizes of bowls.

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03: Water training!

Continue with their Animal Protector training and learn how important water is to animals and us. Measure and compare capacities. Order containers, make animal footprints in paint and watch a video clip of elephants learning to use their trunk in water.

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04: Habitat training

Complete the last phase of the Animal Protector training and become fully qualified protectors. Learn about different habitats and where animals might live. Sort animals into habitats and make their own books.

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05: Local animal protectors

Explore local wildlife and act out how the animals might move and travel. Guess the animal game. Create a class dance about these animals. Sketch with detail observations, make salt dough animals, label different animals, find them in non-fiction and guess the animal nose!

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06: Save our wildlife!

Watch a video about British wildlife and their habitats. Discuss local changes that may have affected their local wildlife. Transform the outside classroom into a wildlife area and become local animal protectors by planting wild flowers, making hedgehog homes, bird food and ponds!

Block B - Working Animals

Animals are always fascinating to children and this topic details numerous creative and exciting learning activities inspired by this stimulus.

Find out about the animals that work and help us in so many ways. Learn about the strong animals that help us to do heavy and difficult jobs such as heavy horses and elephants. Learn about how dogs can help people who have problems with seeing or confidence. Learn about animals that can identify and track scents or deliver secret messages. Take part in role-plays, listen to stories and represent ideas with art and design and technology. Express learning through writing and speaking.

The Topic Overview outlines the outcomes and objectives of the whole topic, with more specific detail, including resources lists, provided in the Block Overview.

This Topic is written for Reception. If you want to use this Topic for a different Key Stage, you will need to consider how to adapt the outcomes, content, delivery methods, resources and differentiation, as well as the relevant National Curriculum objectives.

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01: How am I helpful?

Meet Super Worm! Use role-play to recreate different ways he is helpful and give suggestions about how the children can be helpful in different situations.

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02: Strong and mighty!

Children discover a heavy object in their classroom. They learn how horses and elephants have been trained to move heavy items and compare and contrast this with machines.

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03: Help me to see it!

Children understand how dogs are able to help blind/partially-sighted people to move around safely. They learn how to care for a dog and know the difference between pet dogs and working dogs.

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04: Detectives!

Children use their sense of smell to identify a range of familiar scents. They know that dogs can be trained to identify and track scents. Children know that dogs can be used to help increase confidence and self-esteem.

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05: Secrets!

Children understand how pigeons have been used to transport secret messages. They consider which animal they think is the most helpful and provide a reason for their choice. Children vote to discover the most helpful working animal!

Block A - Pets

Animals are always fascinating to children and this topic details numerous creative and exciting learning activities inspired by this stimulus.

What pets do you have at home? How do you care for them? What habitats do they need to help them thrive? How does a vet help animals? Do you know about exotic pets? Which pets did people have in the past? This block will help you to answer these questions and to show your learning through art, design and technology, music, role-play, stories, maths and writing. Have fun holding an animal picnic, a Great Pet Sale and a ‘Best in Show’ event.

This Topic is written for Reception. If you want to use this Topic for a different Key Stage, you will need to consider how to adapt the outcomes, content, delivery methods, resources and differentiation, as well as the relevant National Curriculum objectives.

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01: All sorts of pets

Wonder at a surprise egg, think about good/bad pets in response to a letter from the little girl in the story I want a pet, set up a pet shop role-play area with posters and pet food.

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02: Exotic pets

Discuss exotic pets, make posters, paper chain snakes, playdough snakes, and junk model exotic habitats.

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03: Pets in the past

Look at pictures of pets in the past and compare with pictures of pets in the present, make pet portraits, collage of pets from the past, make a lead and tag for soft pet, listen and dance to old music.

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04: Great pet sale!

Listen to The Great Pet Sale by Mick Inkpen, take part in pet shop sale, pay for animals, write price tags, draw out mathematical language and make zig-zag books.

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05: Looking after our pets

Look after the newly arrived class pet, listen to a vet, discuss how vets help animals, role-play being a vet, weigh pets, measure out ‘medicine’ and bandage injuries.

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06: Pet picnic!

Bring in your toy pets to join the class pet show, award rosettes for different reason, choose your favourite pet, draw your pet’s favourite food on a paper plate ready for the final picnic, read the thank you letter from the girl in the story.

Block F - Culture and Art

Children learn about life in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age, a period covering a million years of history. As well as understanding the chronology of this fascinating time, children will learn about the food, religion, homes, technology and art and how each of these areas developed and changed over time and how amazing developments occurred from the Stone Age to the Iron Age.

Learn about the fascinating culture and art of prehistoric people. Research art and music in prehistory; make Ice Age art and replica art objects from the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages; make replica musical instruments; take part in an improvised performance using the musical instruments you have made and present your work in an assembly.

This Topic is written for Lower Key Stage 2. We also have an Upper Key Stage 2 Topic on Stone Age to Iron Age which is suited to that age range in its outcomes, content, delivery methods, resources and differentiation, as well as National Curriculum objectives. If you want to use this material for any other age range, you will need to consider how to adapt it appropriately.

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01: Introduction to culture and art

Find a cave in the classroom decorated with art. What could the art mean?

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02: Ice Age art and music

Research Palaeolithic art and paint and sculpt as Ice Age artists would have. Make and play a Stone Age flute.

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03: Neolithic art and music

Find out that there was a taboo about depicting humans in the Neolithic art, and learn how to carve replica objects. Make and play replica drums.

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04: Bronze Age art and music

Research Bronze Age artistic expression on metalwork and make replicas. Make replica Bronze Age horns and play them.

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05: Iron Age art and music

Research Iron Age artistic expression in metalwork and make replicas. Convert their Bronze Age horns into carnyxes.

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06: Performance

Take part in an improvised performance of their prehistoric instruments for an assembly.

Block E - Homes and Everyday Life

Children learn about life in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age, a period covering a million years of history. As well as understanding the chronology of this fascinating time, children will learn about the food, religion, homes, technology and art and how each of these areas developed and changed over time and how amazing developments occurred from the Stone Age to the Iron Age.

Learn about the development of homes and settlements from the Stone Age to the Iron Age. Investigate life as a villager. Research daily tasks, recreate houses, weave with wool, and share learning with others using whole-class role-play.

This Topic is written for Lower Key Stage 2. We also have an Upper Key Stage 2 Topic on Stone Age to Iron Age which is suited to that age range in its outcomes, content, delivery methods, resources and differentiation, as well as National Curriculum objectives. If you want to use this material for any other age range, you will need to consider how to adapt it appropriately.

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01: Introduction to homes and everyday life

Find materials for a replica home in the class/on the field and reconstruct it. Discover what evidence archaeologists use to reconstruct buildings or settlements.

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02: Hunter-gatherer homes

Investigate reconstructed hunter-gatherer homes. Design and make a model hunter-gatherer home and learn how to make cordage.

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03: Neolithic farmers' homes

Research what Neolithic homes looked like and design and make a model Neolithic home.

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04: Must Farm

Research the Bronze Age settlement at Must Farm and make replica objects from the site to use as props in a 'freeze the scene' photograph. Also learn how to weave.

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05: Roundhouses

Research Iron Age roundhouses in order to design and make model roundhouses. Learn about and how to do wattling.

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06: Prehistoric role-play

Take part in a whole-class role-play of a village in prehistory.